With so many shoe choices out there, in can be tough to find the right one. You ask yourself questions like: “What color will go with most of my clothes?”, “Do I want a high top or low cut?”, “What brand do I want?”, “Which shoe is the best value?” While all of these questions are valued points, they are not the questions you should be asking yourself. Even the most advanced runner needs help from time to time in the decision making process of choosing a running shoe. Here are a few tips and questions to ask yourself. These will help steer you in the right direction of picking that perfect shoe leather express footwear!
What type of arch do I have?
Normal arch: A normal arch has a half of an arch in a foot print
Low or flat arch: A low arch shows a print of the whole foot
High arch: A high arch only shows a print of the heel and ball of foot. Sometimes it shows a very thin line on the outside.
Once you determine what type of arch that you have then you can search for shoes in that criteria.
How much running do I plan on doing?
This will vary tremendously so I always tend to round up a bit for this question. If you intend on running 10-15 miles per week I would round that up to 15-20. Certain shoes wear more rapidly than others. Similar to tires on a car. If you plan on doing a lot more running you will go through shoes a lot faster and in turn will cost a lot more money in the long run. Cost as well as distance play a big part so choose wisely.
Once I find a shoe is this the only type I should ever run in again?
Some people think that since this shoe works now it will be the only one they can use forever. Many factors go into what works for certain people. Speed of running, stride length, body weight, arch type etc…these same things change over time with everybody. Finding the right shoe for you is a challenge. Sometimes you need to just experiment to see what is best for you. As your fitness levels and ways that you run change, so should your shoes. Bottom line is as you change, your shoes should also follow suit.
Should I only wear my running shoes for running?
The quick answer is yes! All shoes wear at different rates, but if you use them for everything chances are they will wear out a lot faster. Wearing shoes specifically for running will help with the way the tread wears and will also help with injury prevention. Activities that involve side to side movement like basketball will start to wear the shoe in directions that it should not. Running shoes are meant to wear while running. They have a balance for forward motion. And the cost of a good shoe is not cheap so why wear them out quicker than you have to.
Should I wear in new shoes before I go for my run?
Most shoes now a days have nice movement in the material and do not need to be broken in. Some people will disagree and that is okay. I suggest that if you feel the need to break them in with a few short runs before your long ones than go for it.
When is it time to retire my running shoes?
About 300-500 miles is the suggested time to replace your running shoes. This varies because of different style runners. Some people have a very long stride length so the miles will be higher due to less strides per mile. Shorter people have a shorter length so they will have more strides per mile. This is just a general rule of thumb. In my opinion, if your shoes feel like they need replaced before the recommended mileage then replace them.
Choosing the right running shoe takes time. Sometimes it’s more trial and error. My suggestion is to find a Physical Therapist or a Podiatrist that can evaluate your feet and help you make the right decision.
My running shoe: